Veterans benefits (1 - 10 of 81 items) in Custom Date Range
VA Disability Benefits: Additional Planning Would Enhance Efforts to Improve the Timeliness of Appeals Decisions
GAO-17-234: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) is taking steps to improve the timeliness of its benefit compensation appeals process, in which veterans who are dissatisfied with claims decisions by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) can appeal first to VBA, and then to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (the Board). VA has taken actions related to increasing staff, reforming the process, and updatin...
Veterans Affairs Information Technology: Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations, Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems
GAO-17-408T: Published: Feb 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 2017.
GAO noted in July 2016 that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had moved forward with an effort to modernize its health information system—the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA)—but that the department is uncertain of its long-term plan for addressing its electronic health record system needs beyond fiscal year 2018. Beyond modernizing VistA, GAO repor...
VA Health Care: Processes to Evaluate, Implement, and Monitor Organizational Structure Changes Needed
GAO-16-803: Published: Sep 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2016.
Recent internal and external reviews of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operations have identified deficiencies in its organizational structure and recommended changes that would require significant restructuring to address, including eliminating and consolidating program offices and reducing VHA central office staff. However, VHA does not have a process that ensures recommended organizationa...
Electronic Health Records: VA's Efforts Raise Concerns about Interoperability Goals and Measures, Duplication with DOD, and Future Plans
GAO-16-807T: Published: Jul 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 2016.
Even as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has undertaken numerous initiatives with the Department of Defense (DOD) that were intended to advance the ability of the two departments to share electronic health records, the departments have not identified outcome-oriented goals and metrics to clearly define what they aim to achieve from their interoperability efforts. In an August 2015 report, G...
Veterans Justice Outreach Program: VA Could Improve Management by Establishing Performance Measures and Fully Assessing Risks
GAO-16-393: Published: Apr 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2016.
The Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Program—created by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—operates through VA medical centers to provide services to veterans involved in local criminal justice systems, and in fiscal year 2015 served about 46,500 veterans, mostly men and many diagnosed with mental health or substance abuse problems. Officials from VA medical centers manage more than 260 VJ...
Veteran-Owned Small Businesses: VA Improved Its Verification Program but Lacks an Effective Operational Plan for Ongoing Efforts
GAO-16-129: Published: Mar 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 2016.
Since GAO's 2013 report, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took significant steps to improve how it verifies and communicates with veteran-owned small businesses, consistent with several of GAO's previous recommendations. VA reported that due to process improvements, it reduced average application processing times by more than 50 percent—from 85 days in 2012 to 41 in 2015. VA reported that...
Veterans' Health Care: Preliminary Observations on VHA's Claims Processing Delays and Efforts to Improve the Timeliness of Payments to Community Providers
GAO-16-380T: Published: Feb 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2016.
To help ensure that veterans are provided timely and accessible health care services, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has purchased care from non-VA community providers through its care in the community programs since as early as 1945. GAO's preliminary work from the sites it visited shows that in fiscal year 2015, VHA's claims processing was sig...
Veterans Benefits Management System: Ongoing Efforts Can Be Improved; Goals Are Needed to Promote Increased User Satisfaction
GAO-16-227T: Published: Jan 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 2016.
As GAO reported in September 2015, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made progress in developing and implementing the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), with deployment of the initial version of the system to all of its regional offices as of June 2013. Since then, VBA has continued developing and implementing additional system f...
Veteran-Owned Small Businesses: Preliminary Observations on Verification Program Progress and Challenges
GAO-16-179T: Published: Nov 4, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 4, 2015.
Based on GAO's preliminary observations, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made significant improvements to its verification process and communication with veterans since GAO's 2013 report. VA reported it reduced its average application processing times by more than 50 percent—from 85 days in 2012 to 41 in 2015. GAO reviewed a randomly selected sample of verification applications and f...
VA Mental Health: Action Needed to Improve Access Policies and Wait-Time Data
GAO-16-170T: Published: Oct 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2015.
The way in which the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) calculates veteran mental health wait times may not always reflect the overall amount of time a veteran waits for care. VHA uses a veteran’s preferred date (determined when an appointment is scheduled) to calculate the wait time for that patient’s full mental health evaluation, the primary entry po...